Dec. 8, 1997
Madden Announces Men's Tennis Signings
Purdue men's tennis coach Tim Madden has announced the signing of three players to join the Boilermaker program. Laith Al-Agba (Bremerton, Wash., Olympic H.S.) and Derek Miller (San Diego, Calif., University of San Diego H.S.) will arrive with the Class of 2002 in the fall of 1998, while Cade Lutz (Houston, Texas, Klein H.S.) will join the program this January after transferring from the University of Virginia.
Al-Agba was the 1997 AAA high school champion in the state of Washington. He has earned a ranking as high as second in the Pacific Northwest and has been ranked as high as 80th nationally. Al-Agba has received several achievement honors in both math and science on the high school level, and is interested in studying management and international business upon his matriculation to Purdue. "Laith is a true competitor who will excel in college tennis because of his work ethic," Madden says. "He possesses the kind of focus and determination that will improve his game throughout his college years. He has an all-court game that can allow him to produce results against all types of players. He is a very bright, intelligent and dedicated young man who will be a tremendous addition to our program."
Miller has achieved national rankings as high as 12th in doubles and 42nd in singles. Regionally, Miller has been a member of the top-ranked doubles team, while receiving a ranking of fifth in singles. A true all-around athlete, Miller also participated in football, basketball and baseball in high school. "I don't believe anyone has seen how successful Derek can be as a tennis player," Madden says. "He has been a three- or four-sport athlete all through high school and only recently has focused on tennis. His potential is sky high and it is starting to show with wins over many of the top national talents in both singles and doubles. Derek has a winner's attitude that allows him to lift the level of his play when adversity is present. I am most pleased that in Derek, our program will be gaining a great person and a tremendous team player."
Lutz will be coming to Purdue in January of 1998 as a sophomore after transferring from Virginia. Lutz was highly recruited in high school, after winning the Texas state singles championship as a sophomore and the doubles title as a junior. He achieved rankings as high as third in doubles and 19th in singles while a prepster. Lutz attended the same high school as Mary Beth Maggart, a senior standout on the Boilermaker women's tennis team, and also is friends with sophomore Jennifer Embry, a Houston native who is also on the women's tennis team at Purdue. Lutz plans on studying management and accounting while in West Lafayette. "Cade is the student-athlete we have been waiting for since trying to recruit him out of high school two years ago," Madden says. "I see his quickness and his mental tenacity as major strengths. He will be a great asset to our program this season that is already off to a positive start."
Purdue achieved a ranking of 50th in the ITA/Rolex preseason poll. The spring season begins Jan. 24-26 at the Big Ten Indoor Singles Championships in East Lansing, Mich. The Boilermakers' first dual match is Jan. 31 at Florida.